Miller Beach is a wide uninterrupted expanse of sandy beach that sits exactly at the southern tip of Lake Michigan in Gary. Because of its unique location on the lake, it serves as a phenomenal point of convergence for species that follow the eastern and western edges of the lake south during fall migration.
There are two key birding areas at Miller Beach. The Marquette Park Boat Launch , with its large paved beachfront parking lot, lies at the northern end of Lake Street. This parking lot offers a good view of the lake, thus allowing birders to scan the lakefront from inside their cars--a luxury appreciated on blustery fall days. Another good location to scan the lake is at the concession stand some 0.5 miles to the east of the boat launch on Oak Ave. This small concrete block structure sits slightly higher than the adjacent beachfront and provides shelter from the blowing winds that usually accompany the good birds at Miller Beach.
In the summer months, the beach at the boat launch becomes a haven for jet-skiers and sunbathers. For this reason, it is recommended either to arrive early in the morning, or to check the beaches immediately east and west of this popular bathing area. Access to the east can be achieved by driving to the concession stand, whereas access to the west requires walking down the beach from the boat launch.
Typical Time to Bird Site: 15-60 minutes, although half-day or all-day vigils are often held when conditions are right.